ATHENS — Georgia’s Deandre Baker was the first cornerback off the board Thursday night at the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tenn.
Baker, the fourth UGA player selected in the first round in the past five years, was picked 30th overall by the New York Giants. The Giants traded up for Seattle’s pick to get the rights to select Baker.
ESPN analyst Booger McFarland pointed out that Baker brings a great deal of versatility to the New York defense.
“You look at him playing for Kirby Smart and Mel Tucker, they play a lot of different coverages, so he can play zone, he can play man,” McFarland said. “He’s an aggressive, physical guy. When he gets to the next level, he has to (adjust) his technique just a little bit, because he got penalized a lot, but I love this guy, he provides a multidimensional corner.”
It’s the second straight year the Giants have picked a Georgia player, as they selected linebacker Lorenzo Carter last year in the third round. Baker is the 11th Georgia selected by the Giants in the NFL draft since 1944.
Mel Kiper Jr. said Baker has good length for a 5-foot-11 corner, and he likes his football speed as well.
“Deandre baker didn’t run 4.4, (-second 40-yard dash), he ran 4.53 or 4.52,” Kiper said. “Here’s a guy who has unique catch up speed, but consistency in the SEC against quality wide receivers.
“What I like about him is in practice, he went up against guys like Mecole Hadman, J.J. Holloman, against quality receivers with a chance to move forward into the National Football League in addition to guys like Deebo Samuel,” Kiper said. “He went up against Riley Ridley as well, and (Ridley) may be a second round pick.”
Ridley, Hardman and D’Andre Walker are among the most likely Georgia players to be selected on Friday when rounds two and three take place.
Baker was the third player selected in the first round by the Giants.
New York selected Duke quarterback Daniel Jones sixth overall, and Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence 17th overall.
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) April 25, 2019